The J.League is saddened to announce the passing of former director Kozo Kinomoto on January 15 of heart failure at the age of 68.
Following his playing career at Furukawa Electric (now JEF United Chiba), Kinomoto took an active role in the administration of the Japan Soccer League (JSL) and would go on to be one of the key figures in the launch of the J.League.
In addition to serving as an executive director and managing director over the league’s first decade, he also took charge of J.League Photo as well as J.League Enterprise.
“I’m shocked and saddened to hear of Mr. Kinomoto’s death,” J.League Chairman Mitsuru Murai said.
“The other year he visited JFA House for an interview and I still remember how passionate he was about the J.League and the future of Japanese football.
“He was a pioneer on the front lines of Japanese football’s move to professionalism, and without him we would not have the J.League as we do today.
“I hope he can rest peacefully knowing that all of us in the community will continue to build on his work and propel Japanese football forward.”